Monday, May 20, 2024

AI Prompting: Collaborative Prompt Technique

I have shared a lot of resources recently to support AI prompting for educators. These have included my collection of AI prompt libraries and my AI super prompt.

In both cases the idea has been that prompting an AI chatbot can sometimes be a challenge, as we are not always sure what to type in to get the best results.

Recently I learned about another great suggestion to improve prompting, which came from one of my edtech colleagues, Chris Deis from Grandview Heights Schools. I have been playing around with this new technique and have really been impressed with its ease of use and the quality of the results.

For lack of a better term, I am calling this process the "Collaborative Prompt Technique". Instead of trying to come up with the best prompt yourself, the idea is to:
  • Tell the AI chatbot the task you want to accomplish
  • Ask the AI chatbot what information it needs from you to do this
  • Provide that additional information to the AI chatbot to get your result
This collaborative prompting technique is a great way to work with the AI to determine all the details needed for the best results. See below for the template I have been using for this approach, as well as three examples of how this works.

📄 Collaborative Prompt Template

Here is the basic format for the initial prompt to provide to the AI chatbot:

I need to [create / write / do … a specific product / task / project / etc.]. Please provide me with a list of questions and/or information you need from me for you to be able to [generate / create / write … this product / task / item] for me.

💬 Using the Template

When you fill in the template, try to be as specific as possible about the task you are trying to accomplish. The more details you provide up front, the better questions the AI will be able to provide back to you.

For example, instead of asking this:

I need to create a rubric. Please provide me with a list of questions and/or information you need from me for you to be able to generate a rubric for me.

Provide a little more detail such as this:

I need to create a grading rubric for a persuasive writing assignment for my 8th grade language arts students. Please provide me with a list of questions and/or information you need from me for you to be able to generate this rubric for me.

The AI Chatbot will then provide you with a list of questions to answer or information to supply. You certainly do not need to answer every question in the list, however the more information you can provide, the better final product you will get.

See below for three examples of using this technique for prompting including a grading rubric, a story, and a lesson plan. For these examples I used ChatGPT, but I would encourage you to test this out with a wide range of AI chatbots to see what works best for you. Possible AI chatbots woulkd include:

💯 Example - Grading Rubric

My Prompt

I need to create a grading rubric for a persuasive writing assignment for my 8th grade language arts students. Please provide me with a list of questions and/or information you need from me for you to be able to generate this rubric for me.

ChatGPT's Response

To create a grading rubric for a persuasive writing assignment for your 8th-grade language arts students, I need the following information from you:

Assignment Objective:
  • What is the main goal of the persuasive writing assignment?
  • Are there specific topics or prompts students should address?
  • What specific criteria do you want to assess? (e.g., thesis statement, argument development, evidence/support, organization, language use, grammar, etc.)
  • How many criteria will be included in the rubric?
Performance Levels:
  • How many performance levels do you want to include in the rubric? (e.g., 4 levels: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor)
  • Do you have specific descriptors or definitions for each performance level for each criterion?
  • Should each criterion have equal weight, or are some criteria more important than others? If the latter, how do you want to distribute the weights?
  • Do you have a preferred format for the rubric (e.g., grid/table, checklist)?
  • Do you need space for teacher comments?
Standards Alignment:
  • Are there specific standards (e.g., state standards, Common Core) you want the rubric to align with?
  • Do you want the rubric to include a section for alignment with these standards?
  • Do you have examples of previous rubrics you liked or found effective?
  • Are there any specific elements from those examples that you want to incorporate into this rubric?
Additional Considerations:
  • Are there any other considerations or special instructions that should be included in the rubric?
  • Do you need a section for self-assessment or peer assessment?
Once I have this information, I can generate a detailed and tailored grading rubric for your persuasive writing assignment.

Final Product

After providing ChatGPT with answers to these questions, here is the grading rubric that was generated:

8th Grade Persuasive Writing Assignment Rubric

Objective: Develop and present a well-reasoned argument on a chosen topic, persuading the audience using logical reasoning, credible evidence, and effective rhetoric.

Criteria and Performance Levels

CriteriaExcellent (4)Good (3)Fair (2)Poor (1)
Thesis Statement (10%)Clear, specific, and arguable thesis statement that effectively sets up the essay.Clear and arguable thesis statement, but may be slightly general or vague.Thesis statement is present but weak, unclear, or somewhat arguable.No clear thesis statement or thesis is irrelevant to the topic.
Argument Development (25%)Thoroughly develops arguments with strong reasoning and insightful analysis.Develops arguments with clear reasoning and solid analysis.Develops arguments with some reasoning and analysis, but may lack depth.Arguments are undeveloped, lack reasoning, or analysis is weak/incomplete.
Use of Evidence/Support (25%)Provides ample, relevant, and credible evidence to support arguments effectively.Provides relevant and credible evidence, but may lack some depth or variety.Provides some evidence, but it may be insufficient, not always relevant, or lacking credibility.Little to no evidence provided; evidence is irrelevant or not credible.
Organization (20%)Essay is logically organized with clear and effective transitions between points.Essay is well-organized with clear transitions, though may have minor lapses.Essay has some organization, but transitions may be unclear or awkward.Essay lacks clear organization; transitions are missing or ineffective.
Language Use and Style (10%)Uses precise, engaging, and varied language appropriate for the audience.Uses clear and appropriate language with some variation.Language is generally clear, but may be repetitive or occasionally inappropriate.Language is unclear, inappropriate, or overly simple.
Grammar and Mechanics (10%)Virtually no errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation.Few errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation that do not impede understanding.Several errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation that may impede understanding.Numerous errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation that impede understanding.

Teacher Comments:

Standards Alignment:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.1: Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.


CriteriaExcellent (4)Good (3)Fair (2)Poor (1)
Thesis Statement
Argument Development
Use of Evidence/Support
Language Use and Style
Grammar and Mechanics

Peer Assessment (Optional):

CriteriaExcellent (4)Good (3)Fair (2)Poor (1)Comments
Thesis Statement
Argument Development
Use of Evidence/Support
Language Use and Style
Grammar and Mechanics

This rubric provides a comprehensive and clear framework for assessing the persuasive writing assignment, ensuring that both students and teachers have a detailed understanding of the expectations and performance levels.

📖 Example - Story

My Prompt

I need to create a story for my Grade 3 students to read to practice their reading proficiency. Please provide me with a list of questions and/or information you need from me for you to be able to generate this story for me.

ChatGPT's Response

To create a story tailored for your Grade 3 students to practice their reading proficiency, here are some questions and information needed:

Theme or Topic: What theme or topic would you like the story to cover? (e.g., friendship, adventure, animals, mystery)

Characters: Are there specific characters or types of characters you want to include? (e.g., children, animals, fantasy creatures)

Setting: Where would you like the story to take place? (e.g., a school, a magical forest, a city, a historical period)

Plot Elements: Are there particular plot elements or events you want to be included? (e.g., a problem to solve, a journey, a mystery to uncover)

Length: How long should the story be? (e.g., number of pages or word count)

Vocabulary Level: Are there specific vocabulary words or a certain difficulty level you want to ensure is appropriate for Grade 3?

Moral or Lesson: Is there a moral or lesson you want the story to convey?

Illustrations: Would you like the story to include descriptions for illustrations, and if so, what style or specific scenes?

Reading Focus: Are there specific reading skills you want to emphasize? (e.g., comprehension, fluency, vocabulary)

Student Interests: Do your students have particular interests or favorite topics that could be incorporated into the story to make it more engaging for them?

Cultural Sensitivity: Are there any cultural aspects or sensitivities that should be considered to ensure the story is inclusive and appropriate for all students?

Length of Sentences and Paragraphs: What is the preferred length for sentences and paragraphs to match the reading level of your students?

Once I have this information, I can generate a story that aligns with your requirements and engages your Grade 3 students in practicing their reading skills.

Final Product

After providing ChatGPT with answers to these questions, here is the story that was generated:

Benny and Fiona’s Great Adventure

In a magical forest, where animals could talk, lived Benny the bunny and Fiona the fox. Benny was curious and loved exploring, while Fiona was clever and always had great ideas.

One sunny day, as they played near the glistening stream, they heard a soft chirp. It was Bella the bird, perched on a low branch with a sad look. "I hurt my wing and can't fly back to my nest," Bella said.

Benny looked at Fiona. "We have to help her!"

Fiona thought for a moment. "I have an idea! Let's build a ladder."

Together, they gathered sticks and vines. Benny hopped around, finding the perfect sticks, while Fiona tied them together with the strong vines. Soon, they had a sturdy ladder.

"Climb on, Bella!" Benny said excitedly.

Bella carefully stepped onto the ladder and climbed up with Fiona's guidance. In no time, she was back in her cozy nest.

"Thank you, Benny and Fiona!" Bella chirped happily. "You are true friends."

Benny and Fiona smiled. They knew that by working together, they could solve any problem.

As they walked home, Benny said, "Friendship and teamwork really do make everything better."

"Yes," agreed Fiona, "we make a great team!"

From that day on, the three friends knew they could always count on each other, no matter what.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What did Benny and Fiona use to build the ladder?
  2. How did Bella feel when she was back in her nest?
  3. What lesson did Benny and Fiona learn?

New Vocabulary:

  1. Curious
  2. Clever
  3. Perched
  4. Glistening

🎓 Example - Lesson Plan

My Prompt

I need to create a lesson plan on food webs for my Grade 6 science class. Please provide me with a list of questions and/or information you need from me for you to be able to generate this lesson plan for me.

ChatGPT's Response

To create a comprehensive lesson plan on food webs for your Grade 6 science class, I'll need the following information from you:

Lesson Objectives:
  • What are the key learning outcomes you want your students to achieve by the end of the lesson?
Class Details:
  • How long is the class period?
  • How many students are in the class?
  • Are there any specific learning needs or accommodations for students?
Curriculum Standards:
  • Are there any specific state or national science standards you need to align with?
Prior Knowledge:
  • What do the students already know about food webs or related concepts?
  • Have they studied producers, consumers, and decomposers before?
Teaching Materials:
  • What resources and materials are available to you (e.g., textbooks, digital tools, lab equipment)?
Activities and Engagement:
  • Do you have any preferred activities or methods for engaging students (e.g., group work, hands-on experiments, digital activities)?
  • How will you assess student understanding during and after the lesson (e.g., quizzes, projects, presentations)?
  • How do you plan to differentiate instruction to meet the diverse needs of your students?
  • Will you be using any technology tools or platforms during the lesson?
Homework or Follow-up Activities:
  • Do you plan to assign any homework or follow-up activities to reinforce the lesson?
Additional Information:
  • Any other specific requirements or preferences you have for the lesson plan?
Once you provide this information, I can generate a detailed lesson plan tailored to your needs.

Final Product

After providing ChatGPT with answers to these questions, here is the lesson plan that was generated:

Lesson Plan: Understanding Food Webs

Grade Level: 6
Subject: Science
Duration: 60 minutes
Class Size: 25 students

Lesson Objectives:

  • Define and explain the roles of producers, consumers, and decomposers in an ecosystem.
  • Illustrate a food web and identify the relationships among different organisms.
  • Analyze how changes in one part of a food web affect the entire ecosystem.

Standards Alignment:

  • NGSS MS-LS2-3: Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.

Materials Needed:

  • Textbook: "Science Explorer: Life Science"
  • Interactive whiteboard
  • Computers or tablets with internet access
  • Printed worksheets for food web diagrams
  • Index cards and markers
  • Online food web simulator

Prior Knowledge:

  • Basic understanding of ecosystems
  • Familiarity with producers, consumers, and decomposers

Lesson Activities:

1. Introduction (10 minutes):

  • Begin with a brief review of producers, consumers, and decomposers.
  • Use the interactive whiteboard to display images and definitions.
  • Engage students with quick questions to assess prior knowledge.

2. Group Activity: Creating Food Webs (20 minutes):

  • Divide the class into small groups (4-5 students each).
  • Provide each group with index cards and markers.
  • Each card will represent a different organism (e.g., plants, herbivores, carnivores, decomposers).
  • Groups will arrange the cards to create a food web, connecting producers, consumers, and decomposers.
  • Once completed, groups will present their food webs to the class.

3. Digital Activity: Online Food Web Simulator (15 minutes):

  • Students will use computers or tablets to access an online food web simulator.
  • They will explore how different factors (e.g., the removal of a species) affect the food web.
  • Encourage students to take notes on their observations.

4. Discussion and Analysis (10 minutes):

  • Gather students for a class discussion on their findings from the digital activity.
  • Discuss the impacts of changes within a food web.
  • Highlight real-world examples, such as the effects of human activities on ecosystems.

5. Conclusion and Assessment (5 minutes):

  • Summarize key points of the lesson.
  • Conduct a quick formative assessment with a few questions to check for understanding.
  • Assign a quiz to be completed as homework, including multiple-choice and short-answer questions.


  • Visual aids and larger print materials for the student with a visual impairment.
  • Extra time and clear, step-by-step instructions for students with ADHD.
  • Advanced reading materials and extension activities for gifted students.

Technology Integration:

  • Use the interactive whiteboard for teaching and group discussions.
  • Utilize the online food web simulator for the digital activity.

Homework or Follow-up Activities:

  • Assign a homework project where students research a specific ecosystem and create a detailed food web.
  • Plan a follow-up discussion in the next class on the impacts of human activities on food webs.
  • Encourage students to bring in examples or pictures of local wildlife to personalize the food webs.

Additional Notes:

  • Plan a future field trip to a local nature reserve to observe food webs in a real ecosystem.

This lesson plan provides a structured approach to teaching food webs to Grade 6 students, incorporating various activities and assessment methods to ensure comprehensive understanding and engagement.

Post by Eric Curts
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